I am a cat person, I don’t particularly object to dogs, I just prefer cats. And for some time now I have owned pedigree Birman cats. Cats seem to be a fascinating subject for photographers, to judge by the number of photos of them up on places like Flickr, cats sleeping, and running, and playing and looking cute or regal or just plain fluffy.
I have spent many hours taking photos of my cats and here is what I have learned:
- its important to have the cat in the right mood for the particular shot you are after – a sleepy cat doesn’t want to play, and a playful cat won’t sit still and an awake cat will have its nose up against your lens faster than you can say catnip!
- cats are totally unpredictable and also move very quickly
- cats are extremely curious and investigate most things with their nose
- cats are easily distractable (if in the right frame of mind)
- more than one cat in a shot can be extremely challenging
- an assistant cat distracter is a necessity ( I like to have mine stand slightly behind my left shoulder.
- if shooting other peoples cats, get the owners to go somewhere else, otherwise they are very distracting, both to you and the cats
- get down at eye level if at all possible to get the intimate shot
- use a zoom to shoot from further away so the cat doesn’t instantly see you and come running over
- be prepared for them to see you and come running over, and try and get some good shots in LOL
- if possible use a neutral background to showcase the cat
- try macro face/eye shots on a sleepy just woken up cat
- be patient
- if it isn’t your cat, spend time letting them get to know you before shooting so they are comfortable and relaxed
- don’t use flash
- have the camera handy because sometimes you will get only one opportunity for that special shot
- if it really isn’t working, give up and try again another day, sometimes it just doesn’t happen